Time Dependent Breakdown of Ultra-Thin Gate Dielectrics Under Pulsed Biased Stress
Bin Wang, John S. Suehle, Eric M. Vogel, J B. Bernstein
Ultra-thin SiO2 films (tox 2.0 nm) were stressed under DC, unipolar, and bipolar pulsed bias conditions up to a pulse repetition frequency of 50 kHz. The time-to-breakdown (tBD), the number of defects at breakdown (N^dBD), and the number of defects generated inside the oxide as a function of stress time were monitored during each stress dondition. Oxide lifetime under unipolar pulsed bias is similar to that under DC conditions; however lifetime under bipolar pulsed bias is significantly improved and exhibits a dependence on pulse repetition frequency. The observation of a lifetime increase under bipolar pulsed bias for the oxide thickness and voltage range used in this study suggests that a different physical mechanism may be responsible for the lifetime increase from that assumed in earlier studies for thicker films.